Here we go again, back to the junkyard world for more deranged adventure game logic in Chaos on Deponia. For those who missed the wonderful review of the first game on this website, a quick summary of it would that Deponia was a game of two halves. One half of the game being confusing and convoluted on the puzzle aspect and the other being lacking in the personality department, with the entire story being dragged down by being centred around a love interest who is impossible to like because she spends the majority of the runtime in a coma.
Well for what it’s worth Chaos on Deponia shows some improvement from its original. The general puzzle design of the game seems to have more direction this time whereas the last game had a lot of pointlessly circling the map grabbing whatever items you find and trying them on everything. There’s also a happier medium between story, character and puzzles this time and there’s no real major pacing issues. The game does have the same issue that pretty much every point and click adventure game ever has in that every so often the story has to come to a crashing halt every now and then so you can wander through piles of trash looking for crank handles and such, which makes it easy to lose track of the bigger picture of what’s going on.
As for the quality of the love interest (Goal) who still is a major part of the story and is pretty much main character Rufus’ motivation for all of his actions, well….yea she’s still not that great. She was nice enough to be awake for the majority of the game this time around, but instead she has three personalities saved on three different brain implants that you can switch around. This leads to some clever puzzles throughout the game, but in giving her three stereotypical and frankly not that likeable personalities ironically all Goal is left with is no personality at all. It’s mentioned that the real Goal is complete when all three implants work together, but the problem is that never happens so in reality we don’t actually know this character at all. It might seem like a minor point, but she’s a focal point for a lot of what happens in this (and the previous) game and it does weaken the story.
Another weakness of the first Deponia was a lot of the humour fell flat, partially by trying too hard but it was also let down by lacklustre animation which ruined a lot of the visual gags. The animation this time round seems a lot more polished, and the writing in general seems improved, as a whole Chaos in Deponia is a lot more enjoyable. Of course, once again there’s another flaw of adventure games that even if a joke is funny the first time you hear it it’s going to just get irritating when you hear it for the fifth time because you keep trying stuff that doesn’t work. There’s a lot of fourth wall breaking in this outing too, and for the most part it’s not awful and lazy like most fourth wall jokes turn out to be. There’s a very clever puzzle where Rufus forgets an important rhythm because the music in the marketplace is so obnoxious, and it’s solved by going into options and turning off the background music. There’s a joke and dialogue about it in the game beforehand as well, so it’s well done and doesn’t even feel that cryptic.
Not that Chaos on Deponia can’t be obnoxious itself either, there’s a lot of trademark crazy adventure game logic in places that wouldn’t even make sense to you if it was typed out here. There’s also parts of unnecessary busywork, one section of the game is filled with a bunch of items you need, but to collect any of them you need to go to another room in the game and click on a bunch of items to get “memos” which you collect individually for the items, so you can hand them to another character individually so then you can pick up the items you actually need. That is not a puzzle, that is adding 15 minutes to the running time of the game because the puzzle designer kept sniffing the freshly painted walls too long that day.
Minor complaints aside Chaos on Deponia is a lot better (and a lot longer, not necessarily to its benefit) than its original and well worth picking up for fans of point n’ click adventure games. However, this is one part of the game that is very confusing and that’s the intended audience. Like last time for no real reason there’s the odd swear word and adult joke thrown into the dialogue which takes away any younger audience this game could achieve with its style of humour and art design. The game is dead set on appealing only to adventure game fanatics, as well as people who already played the first one, it’s hard to think of a reason in this corporate modern videogame industry for these design choices. If you do fit the unnecessarily limited demographic though, then Chaos on Deponia is recommended to you but very few others.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.